Monday 16 September 2019

Michelle Obama says Trump ‘birther’ theory put her family in danger

The former US first lady said Donald Trump knew the theory was not true.

Mrs Obama is releasing a memoir entitled Becoming (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Mrs Obama is releasing a memoir entitled Becoming (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By Julia Hunt, Press Association Entertainment Correspondent

Former US first lady Michelle Obama has spoken out about Donald Trump’s “birther” theory, saying it was “reckless” and endangered her family.

The US President questioned Barack Obama’s citizenship for many years, before finally agreeing in 2016 that the 44th president was born in America.

Mrs Obama spoke out about the controversy in an interview with friend and television personality Oprah Winfrey, which will be featured in her O magazine and other publications including Elle.

She said: “In order for my children to have a normal life, even though they had security, they were in the world in a way that we weren’t.

“To think that some crazed person might be ginned up to think my husband was a threat to the country’s security; and to know that my children, every day, had to go to a school, and soccer games, parties, and travel; to think that this person would not take into account that this was not a game — that’s something that I want the country to understand.

“I want the country to take this in, in a way I didn’t say out loud, but I am saying now.

“It was reckless, it put my family in danger, and it wasn’t true. And he knew it wasn’t true.”

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Michelle Obama on Elle (ELLE UK/Miller Mobley)

Mrs Obama, who is releasing a memoir entitled Becoming, also spoke about going to counselling with her husband and the pressure of being the first black first family.

“We felt the pressure from the minute we started to run,” she said.

“First of all, we had to convince our base that a black man could win. It wasn’t even winning over Iowa. We first had to win over black people.

“Because black people like my grandparents – they never believed this could happen. They wanted it for us. But their lives had told them: ‘No. Never’.

“Hillary was the safer bet for them, because she was known. Opening hearts up to the hope that America would put down its racism for a black man – I think that hurt too much. It wasn’t until Barack won Iowa that people thought, Okay. Maybe so.”

The interview will also be featured in the December issue of O with behind-the-scenes content available on Oprahmag.com as well as globally across multiple Hearst Magazines titles, including the December issue of Elle.

The Elle December issue is on sale from November 13.

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